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FAQs: MyTRS

FAQs: MyTRS

MyTRS  |   Using MyTRS   |   Privacy and Security for MyTRS
MyTRS Email Subscriptions  |   Withholding Tax Estimate Calculator
Retirement Estimates & TRS' Retirement Estimate Calculator
Your Annual Statement of Account (Annual Statement)

MyTRS

What is MyTRS? 

MyTRS is the online access portion of the TRS website. After establishing a User ID and password of their own choosing, members can plan for retirement, keep track of their personal accounts and receive communications from TRS online.

As a TRS member, what can I do using my MyTRS User ID and password?

Members with valid User IDs and passwords can:

  1. Update and maintain your contact information (mailing address, email address and telephone number).
  2. Use a retirement calculator to estimate retirement benefits using data on file with TRS.
  3. Request a retirement estimate, if you are eligible to retire and plan to retire within the next 12 months.
  4. View and/or print a copy of your most recent annual statement.
  5. View your current account information, including account balance (including current year-to-date contributions), years of service, and highest salaries. Please note, years of service is calculated as of August 31 of the preceding fiscal year. However, it will be updated to reflect any special service purchases made during the current fiscal year.
  6. Request a bill for reinstatement of withdrawn service.
  7. Obtain information on your withdrawn, unreported, military and out-of-state special service credit purchases that are already in progress.
  8. Register for group benefit presentations held around the state.
  9. Subscribe to an email delivery service for:
    1. Selected TRS publications.
    2. TRS announcements, including meetings, webcasts, presentations and other events.
    3. Notifications of legislative changes impacting the TRS retirement and health care plans

As a TRS annuitant, what can I do using my MyTRS User ID and password?

Annuitants with valid User IDs and passwords can:

  1. Update and maintain your contact information (mailing address, email address and telephone number).
  2. View and/or print a copy of your most recent 1099-R.
  3. View and calculate personalized withholding tax calculations using data on file with TRS.
  4. View a summary of your current annuity payments.
  5. View a summary of health benefit premiums paid by deduction from your TRS annuities in the prior two years.
  6. Subscribe to an email delivery service for:
    1. Selected TRS publications.
    2. TRS announcements, including meetings, webcasts, presentations and other events.
    3. Notifications of legislative changes impacting the TRS retirement and health care plans.

What type of information can I access on the TRS website without a MyTRS User ID and password?

Members can review general information about their benefits and other information about TRS including:

  • Calculate retirement estimates based on data they input.
  • Estimate the cost to purchase credit for unreported service rendered before 9/1/2011 and credit for unused sick leave.
  • Calculate an estimate of the federal income tax withholding from their annuity.
  • View the schedule for group benefit presentations held around the state.
  • View publications (TRS News, TRS Benefits Handbook, brochures, etc).
  • View and print selected TRS forms.
  • Watch current board meetings or view archived board webcasts.

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Using MyTRS

How do I establish a MyTRS User ID and password?

If you are currently receiving an annuity payment or you are a participating member, you just need to review the Register For MyTRS page and follow the instructions.

I have tried to register for MyTRS, but I’ve been unable to do so. How can I identify and correct the problem?

Please remember that you cannot participate in MyTRS if you have refunded your account or you are no longer receiving an annuity payment. Please contact TRS at 1-800-223-8778 if you are an active member or currently receiving an annuity, but you are unable to register for MyTRS.

I have recently refunded or I am in the process of taking a refund and I am attempting to use MyTRS, but I've been unable to do so. How can I identify and correct the problem?

Please remember that you cannot participate in MyTRS if you have refunded your account or you are no longer receiving an annuity payment. Please contact TRS at 1-800-223-8778 if you need further assistance.

What are the User ID requirements?

A User ID for MyTRS must have between 8 and 25 characters and may contain upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special characters, for example, ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & ( ) - _ { } ' .

What are the password requirements?

A password for MyTRS must have between 8 and 32 characters and contain at least two of the following four character types: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special characters, for example, ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & ( ) - _ { } ' .

How do I log in?

Just click on the "Log in to MyTRS" button that appears on TRS website pages. Then, on the welcome screen for MyTRS, enter your User ID and your password, and then click the "Login" button.

What do I do if I forget my password?

Access the Forgot Your UserID/Password page and follow the instructions.

What do I do if my account has been locked after too many login attempts?

Access the Forgot Your UserID/Password page and follow the instructions.

What do I do if I can't download or view forms?

  • If you just registered for MyTRS, personal forms in your MyTRS profile (such as annual statement, certain service purchase documents, 1099-R or annuity verification forms) will not be available until the next business day.
  • The version of Adobe Reader must be current. Download the most current version of Adobe Reader.
  • For viewing forms using the Google Chrome browser, please first ensure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader installed; then:
    1. Click on the "PDF" button on the top right area of the page, in the address bar.
    2. Click on "Open in Adobe Reader."
    3. If you receive a warning about Reader being out of date, you may select "Process without updating Adobe Reader."
  • For viewing forms using the Mozilla Firefox browser, please first ensure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader installed; then:
    1. Click on the "Open with Different Viewer" button at the top right-hand corner of the page.
    2. Choose "Open with Adobe Acrobat" from the message popup.

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Privacy and Security for MyTRS

What does TRS do to protect my personal information?

TRS uses 128-bit encryption to ensure that unauthorized individuals cannot view your personal information. However, anyone who knows your User ID and your password can access your personal information. That's why you need to keep your password private. And, to prevent others from viewing your personal information, be sure to click "Log Out" in the list of links on the left side of your screen before leaving your computer.

What is 'encryption'?

Encryption is the electronic ‘scrambling’ of information to prevent it from being intercepted and read by a third party. TRS encrypts your personal information as it passes through the Internet.

I forgot to log out of MyTRS. Is my information at risk?

Yes, to protect your information, please remember to click "Log Out" in the list of links on the left side of your screen when you have completed your MyTRS session. If you forget to log out and leave your browser open, your information can be accessed by anyone using your computer until the session times out. If no browser activity is detected for 15 minutes, MyTRS automatically logs you out ("times out"). For more information, please refer to the MyTRS Security Statement.

Does TRS give my email address to anybody else?

TRS does not give or sell member email addresses to others to use for marketing, sales, or research. TRS does not give out email addresses unless we are required by law to do so, for example, by subpoena or other court order). For more information, please refer to the TRS Privacy Statement.

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MyTRS Email Subscriptions

What is it and how does it work?

What is MyTRS Email Subscription Service?

MyTRS Email Subscriptions  is TRS’ email subscription service. It is part of MyTRS, which is the section of the TRS website that offers members and annuitants the ability to access and modify some of their personal account information. MyTRS Email Subscriptions enables members to receive notification of new TRS publications, meetings and announcements by email. By registering for this subscription service, you will not only receive TRS-related news faster, but you will also help reduce costs associated with member mailings.

What qualifications must I meet to be eligible for MyTRS Email Subscriptions?

You must be a participant in TRS as an active member, annuitant or a beneficiary currently receiving a payment from TRS, and you must have a MyTRS User ID and password.

Can someone at TRS enroll me in the MyTRS Email Subscriptions?

No. You must subscribe via MyTRS.

How do I subscribe?

Log in to MyTRS and select the MyTRS Email Subscriptions link on the sidebar menu.

Do I need a password to enroll in MyTRS Email Subscriptions?

Yes. MyTRS Email Subscriptions is part of MyTRS. A valid User ID and password is required.

Activating Your Subscription

I can't remember if I ever verified my email address. What should I do?

Log in to MyTRS and select the MyTRS Email Subscriptions link on the sidebar menu to verify if your address has been activated.  If it has not been activated, you can request another verification email. If you have the verification email handy, you can verify the email address manually.

I accidentally deleted the verification email I received from TRS before activating my new email subscription. Now what do I do?

Log in to MyTRS and select the MyTRS Email Subscriptions link on the sidebar menu. If your email address appears with the words 'Not Verified' beside it, you may click on the ‘Send Verification Email’ button to request another verification email.

Why didn't I ever receive an activation verification email after I subscribed?

There could be several reasons. You may have accidentally provided an incorrect email address when you subscribed. Another possibility is that spam-blocking software provided by either your Internet service provider or your email client (e.g. Outlook Express) is preventing the email from being delivered.

How do I unsubscribe from email subscriptions?

Login to MyTRS select the 'Modify Email Subscriptions' option and follow the instructions provided..

Delivery Questions

What TRS publications and announcements can I have delivered via email?

You can view a complete list of publications and announcements you can subscribe to by email through the "MyTRS Email Subscriptions" link. Please check the TRS website and TRS News regularly for updates regarding the MyTRS Email Subscriptions service.

Can I have publications and announcements delivered to multiple email addresses?

No, you can only have one active email address.

Can I have TRS publications delivered by both email and regular mail?

No. If you choose to receive TRS publications by email, you will no longer receive a copy through regular mail.

Why did I receive both an email and a printed copy of a TRS publication? I thought that when I subscribed to email delivery, the regular mail delivery would stop.

Depending on when you subscribed to email delivery and when we created mailing lists for printed copies, there is a possibility that you could temporarily receive the publication by both email and regular mail. This is due to the lead-time required to prepare hundreds of thousands of copies of TRS publications for regular mail delivery. Generally, this should happen only when you add a new subscription. If this is a recurring problem, please contact TRS.

Even though I subscribed to email delivery of a TRS publication, I've started receiving the publication through regular mail delivery again. What happened?

Each time we distribute TRS publications by email, we monitor returned email messages to identify those that could not be delivered. We then switch these subscribers back to regular mail delivery to ensure that they still receive the publication. To resume email delivery, log in to MyTRS and follow the instructions to update or verify your email address.

How do I change my email address?

Login to MyTRS and select ‘Modify Contact Information’.

How do I switch back to regular mail delivery of TRS publications?

Login to MyTRS and select ‘Modify Email Subscriptions’.

I subscribed to email delivery of a TRS publication. When should I expect my first copy?

Publications have different schedules and frequencies. Once you activate your email address, you should receive the next issue of that publication.

I’m not sure if I have received the most recent version of some TRS publications. Where can I find those publications online?

The most recent versions of TRS publications may be found through the 'Publications' link on the TRS home page.

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Withholding Tax Estimate Calculator

How can I estimate changes to the federal withholding tax on my TRS annuity?

MyTRS has a withholding calculator which automatically imports the current annuity and withholding tax elections from your TRS account. You can modify your marital status, the number of exemptions, and other deductions to estimate changes in your withholding.

Retirement Estimates & TRS' Retirement Estimate Calculator

When is the earliest that I can retire?

Members can retire when they have five years of service and have reached age 55. Members who have earned 30 years of service can retire regardless of their age, so it is possible that someone who is only 49 years old may be able to retire. Retiring at the earliest opportunity may result in a reduced (early age) service retirement.

What is the difference between an "unreduced service retirement" and a "reduced service retirement"?

Unreduced service retirement is normal age retirement in which your TRS benefit calculated under the standard annuity formula is not reduced because of early age. Below is an example of a benefit calculation that is not reduced for early age, where the member has a final average salary of $50,000, is 58 years old, has 22 years of service credit, and membership was established before September 1, 2007.

2.3% X $50,000 X 22 = $25,300 gross annual annuity, or $2,108.33 gross monthly annuity.  The monthly annuity would not be reduced since the member’s age plus years of service total 80.

If, however, the member in the example above was 56 years old, the age plus years of service would total only 78 and an early-age reduction would apply. For a non-grandfathered member the reduction percentage is 51. The reduction would be calculated as follows:  51% X $2,108.33 gross monthly annuity = $1,075.25 reduced gross monthly annuity. The percentage of reduction would depend on your age and years of service credit at retirement, as well as, your membership date and grandfathered  status.

Please explain the term "grandfathered."

In 2005, several changes were made to the TRS retirement plan.  However, certain repealed provisions were preserved for TRS members who were “grandfathered” for this purpose.  To be grandfathered, you must have met at least one of the following requirements as a TRS member on or before August 31, 2005:

  • Attained age 50, or
  • had at least 25 years of service credit, or
  • age and years of service totaled at least 70.

NOTE:If on or before August 31, 2005 you were a member of both TRS and another Texas public retirement system that participates in the Proportionate Retirement Program, please contact TRS if you have questions about your grandfathered status.

The chart below shows what it means to be grandfathered:

GRANDFATHERED
NOT GRANDFATHERED

Final average salary at retirement will be determined by the highest  three annual salaries

Final average salary at retirement will be determined by the highest five annual salaries

Partial Lump Sum Option eligibility is normal age(unreduced) service retirement

Partial Lump Sum Option eligibility will require the Rule of 90,either early age (reduced) or normal age (unreduced) service retirement

Members age 55 or older with 20 to 24 years of service credit who take early retirement receive a reduction in their annuity, but the reduction is “subsidized” (you may receive 90%-98% of your annuity)

Members age 55 or older with 20 to 24 years of service credit who take early retirement receive reduction in their annuity, but the reduction is not “subsidized” (you may receive as little as 47% of your annuity)


What are the eligibility requirements for normal age retirement?

  • If you became a member before September 1, 2007, you can retire at age 65 with 5 or more years of service credit; or your age and years of service credit total 80 and you have at least five years of service credit.
  • If you became a member or returned to membership on or after September 1, 2007, you can retire at age 65 with five or more years of service credit; or your age and years of service credit total 80, you have at least five years of service credit, AND you are at least age 60.
  • If you are a grandfathered member who returns to membership on or after September 1, 2007 you can retire at age 65 with five or more years of service credit; or age 55 with at least 20 years of service credit and your age and years of service credit total 80; or you are age 60 with at least five years of service and your age and years of service credit total 80.

What are the eligibility requirements for early age retirement?

  • If you became a member before September 1, 2007, you can retire at age 55 with five or more years of service credit, or any age below 50 with 30 or more years of service credit.
  • If you became a member or returned to membership on or after September1, 2007, you can retire at age 55 with five or more years of service credit; or your age and years of service credit total 80, but you are less than age 60; or you have 30 years of service credit, but you are less than age 60.

Who can be my beneficiary?

You can name anyone as your beneficiary; it does not have to be someone related to you. You can name your estate, a trust, or an organization or charity. Generally, the form used for designating a beneficiary is form TRS 15, Designation of Beneficiary (pdf) . (NOTE: You may name multiple beneficiaries; however, at retirement , there are certain payment plans that limit you to one primary beneficiary.)

Why can't the TRS Retirement Estimate Calculator do calculations for proportionate service or disability retirement benefits?

These types of retirement require reference to reduction tables and actuarial charts.  TRS will be happy to prepare these estimates for you upon receipt of a completed form TRS 18, Request for Estimate of Retirement Benefits.  This form can be completed and submitted on-line through MyTRS. You may also print the form from the forms section of the website, complete it and mail it to TRS.

Why does the estimate that I received from TRS have some amounts that differ from the estimate obtained from the TRS website's Retirement Estimate Calculator?

When TRS prepares an estimate of benefits upon your request, we audit the reported salaries and sometimes have to make adjustments. The Retirement Estimate Calculator (accessed with your MyTRS password) pulls in your salaries as reported by your employer and does not do an audit. There is also a Retirement Estimate Calculator that can be accessed outside of MyTRS where you can project future service credit and salaries.

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Your Annual Statement of Account (Annual Statement)

When does TRS mail annual statements of account (annual statements)?

TRS mails annual statements in the fall after the close and reconciliation of the prior fiscal year. It normally takes approximately three weeks to mail out the nearly one million active membersí statements.

How are annual statements distributed to members?

Most members receive their annual statements by regular mail. If you register for MyTRS, you may subscribe to receive email notification that your statement is ready to view and print online.   

Is there any way to get my annual statement sooner?

Annual statements are available online through MyTRS at approximately the same time TRS begins printing them for mailing. This generally occurs in the fall. By subscribing to MyTRS and signing up for email notification that your statement is ready as described above, you may receive your statement several weeks earlier than you would receive it by regular mail. 

Why donít retirees receive an annual statement?

Annual statements show the contributions and other activity for active TRS members. Once you retire, there are no further contributions to, or activity on, your member contribution account, so it is closed.

I have not yet received an annual statement and do not see one on MyTRS. Why?

You will not receive an annual statement if:

  • you are a retiree;
  • your mailing address is not current;
  • you have just begun working or just returned to work in a TRS-covered position;
  • your membership terminated because you had less than five years of TRS service credit and you did not qualify for TRS service credit for five consecutive years;
  • you are participating in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP); or
  • your statement has not yet been prepared. Statements are prepared, as described above, after the close of the TRS fiscal year. Due to the volume of statements to be produced, all statements are not immediately available for mailing or uploading to MyTRS. If you have not received your statement, or cannot view it on MyTRS, by the end of November and you do not fall within one of the reasons in this list, please contact us at 1-800-223-8778.

Why are the annual statements on MyTRS dated August 31?

Annual statements show your account status at the end (August 31) of the previous fiscal year. For example, if you checked online in May 2011 to see your annual statement, you would find the one dated August 31, 2010.

When will updated annual statements be available online?

Annual statements will be available online at approximately the same time TRS begins printing them for mailing. Generally this occurs around mid-October.

Why do I need MyTRS if I already receive an annual statement in the mail?

If you register for MyTRS and choose to be notified when your annual statement is ready, you can view your statement online several weeks before you might otherwise receive it. You can also refer back to it until a newer version is available. If you choose this option on MyTRS, you will no longer receive a paper copy of your statement, unless you subsequently opt out of this service.   

My annual statement does not include an estimate of my retirement benefits, but a co-worker of mine did receive an estimate. Why?

TRS provides an unaudited estimate of retirement benefits on annual statements sent to members who meet age and service requirements for retirement; however, members who have received an estimate prepared by TRS within the previous 12 months may not receive an estimate on their annual statement. Members who do not receive an estimate on their statement may find the TRS website’s Retirement Estimate Calculator helpful in planning for retirement.

Where can I see a more current summary of my account?

TRS contributions are reported each month by your employer. You can view your current balance, updated to include your employer’s most recent contributions, on the View Personal Information page in MyTRS.

I am currently making payments to purchase TRS service credit, but it doesn't show on my most recent annual statement.

In most cases, this means that you purchased the service credit after August 31, the end of the fiscal year, or you have not yet completed payment in full. Any completed service credit purchases will show up on MyTRS and your next annual statement.

What do I do if the service credit on my statement is not correct?

If you believe that you have more years of service credit than are shown on your statement, you have five years to notify TRS in writing that you believe there is a discrepancy and to provide verification of any service not credited. For uncredited service rendered before September 1, 2011, you have until August 31, 2016 to notify TRS and verify the service on a form prescribed by TRS. For service rendered on or after September 1, 2011, you will have five years from the end of the school year in which the service was rendered to notify TRS and verify the service.

If you fail to notify TRS in writing and verify the uncredited service within five years, you cannot purchase service credit for it and you cannot use it to determine eligibility for any benefits or the amount of them.

What does the beneficiary information shown on my statement mean?

Your annual statement shows the date of birth and gender (“M” for male, “F” for female) of your beneficiary for active member death benefits. If you have not named one person as your beneficiary, a date of birth will not be listed, and you may see one of the following codes in the space for gender: “J” for joint beneficiaries; “EST” for estate named as beneficiary; “TST” for trust named as beneficiary; or “ORG” for an organization named as beneficiary. If the date of birth and gender fields are blank or do not match the information of the person or entity you wish to receive benefits in the event of your death, you should immediately update your beneficiary selection by completing a “Designation of Beneficiary” form and filing it with TRS. You may obtain a beneficiary designation form from the TRS website or by calling 1-800-223-8778. Complete and mail the form directly to TRS; your employer is not authorized to receive it on behalf of TRS or to forward it to the retirement system. Valuable benefits are payable upon your death. Therefore, it is important that you keep your beneficiary information up to date, especially after a marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a named beneficiary, or other significant life event.

Why is the salary listed on my annual statement different from the salary quoted on my contract? Why is it different than the earnings on my W-2 form?

Your statement reflects the salary that has been reported to TRS by your employer. In most cases, it is the salary reported from September through August of the just-completed fiscal year. If you work under a non-standard contract, it is the salary for your contract year. If there is a discrepancy between the salary on your statement and the salary on your contract, contact your employer. The difference could be caused by performing extra duties not covered by your normal contract or taking leave without pay and incurring a reduction in your salary.

Your annual statement reports school year earnings and will not agree with the calendar year earnings on your W-2 form for income tax purposes. Salaries on your statement are subject to audit and adjustment by the retirement system before any benefits are paid.

What do taxable and non-taxable dollars represent?

The taxable dollars in your account represent deposits you have paid into TRS since January 1988, as well as any service credit purchase you may have paid with a rollover of tax-deferred dollars from another retirement plan or IRA, plus all interest your account has earned from inception to date. The non-taxable dollars, if any, represent the deposits you paid into your TRS account prior to January 1988, as well as any service credit purchases you may have paid for with after-tax dollars.

MyTRS  |   Using MyTRS   |   Privacy and Security for MyTRS
MyTRS Email Subscriptions  |   Withholding Tax Estimate Calculator
Retirement Estimates & TRS' Retirement Estimate Calculator
Your Annual Statement of Account (Annual Statement)

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